This is where you can read the manhwa. https://www.lezhin.com/en/comic/painter But be aware that this manhwa is a mature Yaoi, which means, it is about homosexuality with explicit scenes.
In this analysis, I’ll focus on Baek Na-Kyum’s wet dream from the chapter 56 and its interpretation. This event is important as it reflects not only the painter’s emotional state but also his desires. In the first season, he already had four illusions or dreams (chapter 2, 6, 28 and 34) which I already analyzed. https://bebebisous33analyses.wordpress.com/2020/06/06/baek-na-kyums-dreams-and-their-interpretation/ (2, 6 and 34)
Back then, I explained that these dreams were the expressions of Baek Na-Kyum’s unconscious. He was not only repressing his homosexuality but also his sexuality as such. However, his repressed sexual desires revealed that he was physically attracted to the lord. Observe that during the first real dream, the painter imagines the unknown man to be Yoon Seungho and not Jung In-Hun showing that his “love” for the scholar was actually more mental. In reality, his adoration was just the result of the coercive persuasion and the painter’s coping mechanism. In order to stop and forget the abuse, he idolized the scholar.
But let’s start with the dream from the chapter 56. And it begins with a zoom on the shelf with the candles. It reminds us of the night from the chapter 48 and 49 because of the disposition of the candles. That’s why the manhwalovers are not sure if this is real or not first. However, the black frame between the pictures is the clue that we are witnessing a dream. And if you look carefully, you’ll notice that this dream is inspired by that night. Not only the room is the same but also the words and the gestures. Compare the pictures from the chapter 49 to the ones from the chapter 56:
As you can see, the painter’s unconscious is inspired by the sex session occurring in the chapter 49. Why? There is an important reason for that. First it shows how much this sex session has affected the artist and this in a positive way. Back then, the artist saw himself as a prostitute implying that he was just doing a job and couldn’t feel any pleasure during the intercourse. In my opinion, this represented the last wall of resistance in Baek Na-Kyum’s mind. If he was just a whore, then he was not doing because he liked it. In other words, it was still as if he was denying his sexual orientation. He might have sex with the lord but he was somehow forced to, hence he is not a real homosexual. Strictly speaking, his mind was still denying his homosexuality. And now, you understand the lord’s words in the previous picture (chapter 49). He was right, he noticed the contradiction between the painter’s words and his physical reactions. And because of this rough session, Baek Na-Kyum was finally forced to admit that he liked having sex with the lord. Remember what I wrote about the painter’s confession. It was the moment, he dropped the scholar’s doctrine for good. The “prostitution” was just the last defense Seungho had to defeat and he succeeded. And if you look at the words said in the painter’s dream, you’ll notice that he is in reality quite kinky. Sure, Seungho is the one saying it but let’s not forget that a dream expresses the repressed desires. So deep down, the lord’s words are in fact reflecting the painter’s unconscious mind. And what looked like a torture because the painter kept saying no and looked scared, in reality the artist was feeling pleasure. And this explains why the drawing he made later doesn’t reflect any negative emotion. Note that his mouth is open, it was as if he was moaning and there are no tears and no visible pain. As a conclusion, this illustrates that the readers should be careful with what they witness and hear in this manhwa. The spoken words and behavior don’t always reflect the true thoughts and emotions, especially if someone has been brainwashed.
But the sex session from the chapter 49 is not the only source of inspiration. Their position, certain gestures and words also mirror the Wedding night in the chapter 20. Let’s compare these drawings from the two different episodes, just like above.
The position and the sensation “ticklish”/”tickle” are both there. As the manhwalovers can observe, the lord is whispering to the painter’s ear in both scenes as well. He also did it in the chapter 49. From my point of view, Baek Na-Kyum’s unconscious is trying to tell him to remember this important night where the lord made love to him. Because so far, he hasn’t really remembered it. He saw just glimpses and that was it. The commoner’s unconscious wants him to remember his first night as he felt loved and ecstasy at the same time.
But there is another important message in this dream too. The painter’s unconscious is actually telling him what he truly desires. He would like to be loved by Yoon Seungho and he even wished, the lord would confess properly. His dream has really changed compared to the dream from the chapter 6. This is no more about his repressed sexual desires and physical attraction. His heart is longing for the lord’s love but the problem is his mind and as such his conscious. The painter is still denying the truth that’s why he keep saying that this is not possible. (chapter 49, then he recollects Jung In-Hun’s fake hug so that he judges the warmth coming from Yoon Seungho as not real) (chapter 54) (chapter 55)
In his mind, no noble with his power and wealth would be attracted to him and even love him because he is just a low-born. We have to remember that even a low noble like the scholar showed disdain towards him due to his social status. That’s why his mind is rejecting the obvious and his unconscious is trying to reveal the truth. Deep down, he wishes that the noble would love him and would call him with “Na-Kyum-ah” (in Korean) which is quite intimate. And this observation made me realize how similar both protagonists are in reality. One might have been a homosexual right from the start, while the other wasn’t, yet both have a huge heart hence they are really passionate. They both possess a strong will and used their mind for many years in order to control their unconscious and body. One did it because he suffered a huge trauma like rape and abandonment, consequently he viewed himself as ghost and the other started denying his sexuality because he was exposed to coercive persuasion and feared another abandonment.
Striking is that if you compare this dream from the one in the chapter 6, you’ll notice a huge contrast between them. Back then, he could only imagine being touched as he was a virgin. Now, the dream feels more real as the gestures are more precise. The painter has discovered his own heterogenous zones (the nipples, his ear, his butt). And I have even the impression that he likes it from behind because we see it in both dreams (chapter 6 and 56).
What caught my attention in the painter’s dreams is the following. Each time, the painter had a dream or a vision, it became true. Let me give you all the examples:
Chapter 48 The lord entering his room during the night, while he is in his bed.
chapter 16 Here, we have the same expression.
chapter 49 They hug the same way.
Chapter 34 Chapter 34
Here, he imagined that the lord would almost kiss him and the same scene happened in the same chapter.
The commoner dreamed to be called in an intimate way (Na-Kyumah) . What he doesn’t know is that the noble is already calling him Na-Kyumie which shows that for the noble, his social status doesn’t matter in their relationship. He doesn’t call him “Baek Na-Kyum” or “the painter” or the “low-born”. Observe that he always mentions him like that in front of Kim and he already did it in the chapter 11 (based on the English version). But the painter never got the chance to witness it.
As the manhwaphiles can conclude, everything he dreamed is turning slowly into a reality.
Therefore in my opinion, what we witness in the chapter 56, the love session, will occur too and this soon.
Furthermore this is not a surprise that in the chapter 56, we have a new version of the chapter 34.
In both scenes, he springs. On the other hand, in the first scene, he reacted like that as he couldn’t accept what his unconscious was telling him. He desired to be kissed by the noble. In the chapter 56, he is shocked because he noticed his wet pants. Consequently, there is a huge difference between the two scenes. In the chapter 34, he woke up due to a shock. Notice his blushing, he feels embarrassed, indicating that he is still denying his physical attraction to the lord and his sexual orientation, while in the chapter 56, his reaction is much softer. He feels no embarrassment, as he has accepted his homosexuality. Besides, he has an ejaculation because of a love confession. And this is important as it proves that the commoner is now desiring something else: the seme’s affection. This is no longer just a physical relationship. The love confession was the cause for his climax as this was the last thing he heard. He is no longer affected by the sexual pleasures caused by the lord. As you can observe, there is a huge progression. The painter is no longer hiding his homosexuality but what he is still rejecting is the idea that the lord loves him. This is a normal reaction because he has been deeply hurt by Jung In-Hun. Back then, he admired the scholar in such a selfless way so that the moment the low noble betrayed him, the artist decided to change his behavior. He wouldn’t act so selfless again. Notice that in his confession (episode 49), he never paid attention to the powerful protagonist’s feelings. Baek Na-Kyum was the object of the lord’s adoration (kiss him, lick him etc) but the low-born would just accept the seme as his sex partner. He would never give him his heart which did hurt the noble. And this is also reflected in the chapter 56. The painter is the object of the lord’s affection. Observe that the artist is quite passive in this sex session. The lord is the one touching his nipples,, kissing his back, while the painter is just immobile.
And this is not astonishing that the candlestick represents the painter. The commoner is not entirely transformed, he is still a little frozen and selfish. Let’s not forget that even valet Kim criticized him in the chapter 52 and described him “spoiled”. But I am not saying that the artist is selfish by nature, he’s just influenced by his bad experience. But for me, the moment the painter hears Yoon Seungho’s confession, he will open up for real and starts showering the noble with his love. Let’s not forget that this dream reveals the passionate nature of the artist, hence as soon as the painter decides to follow his heart, he will love the noble very deeply and selflessly, just like he did with the scholar.
In other words, Baek Na-Kyum’s mind is still very careful now and is trying to protect his heart. I believe that the moment the lord conveys his feelings properly, the painter will no longer resist and deny the obvious. From that moment, he will make love to Yoon Seungho for real because in the painter’s vision, the seme was making love to him, while he wasn’t. He was just receiving his affection.
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6 thoughts on “Painter Of The Night: Dream and reality – third version”
“Let’s not forget that even valet Kim criticized him in the chapter 52 and described him “spoiled”. But I am not saying that the artist is selfish by nature, he’s just influenced by his bad experience. But for me, the moment the painter hears Yoon Seungho’s confession, he will open up for real and starts showering the noble with his love.”
I agree that Nakyum been kind of reluctant because he apparently missed Seungho but i feel like he doesn’t want to look obviously needy by coming up to him first? Seems like if later they are given chance to talk things out, or Seungho at least stop trying to make Nakyum see him like he’s Inhun (well i know boy is jealous but i wished he knows that he has his own appeal and can attract Nakyum in his own way if he let himself to) (T⌓T) and Nakyum is so unapologetic when he truly cares and cherish someone.
imagine how Seungho would react if he figured that the town people been gossiping about him having a fiancée
Thank you for sharing you analysis!
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In my opinion, pure selflessness is not that good because people will take advantage of your generosity. So being able to keep his own interests is important too. On the other hand, Jihwa is still too selfish and he will pay for his wrongdoings.
ah yes, i remember when SH told Nakyum it’s folish to just go all the way for someone purely without expecting anything in return. Nakyum slowly learns that he is allowed to expect something.
Jihwa looks like he kind of need closure of his relationship with Seungho? Considering that he always think that he’s special than the other noble friends for knowing something other nobles don’t…not sure what possibly make him still not cancel the murder plan. Like he’s so anxious and yet too prideful to retreat
Thanks for this analysis. I was looking forward to it! I was hoping you would address Nakyum’s comment: “I guess I just crave being held”. I was surprised he didn’t say “being held by him” but only “being held”. From that, I imagined he may still looking to himself as a prostitute somehow. He keeps denying SH’s feelings which I can understand and on top of that he might still think he only likes sex and that’s why he enjoys being with SH for now. I don’t know, that sentence of him made me skeptical. I feel like he doesn’t moved on completely from In-Hun’s rejection and insults. I hope I am wrong. I also find it funny when he said “I don’t want to” during his dream while he was totally enjoying being held that way! I mean, even in his dreams he’s trying to pretend not being fully consenting. I guess he still didn’t fully embrace his kinky side :DD
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To me, he has stopped viewing himself as a prostitute. But he is still not embracing his kinky side. But “being held” reveals his need to be loved and embraced. He is longing to be loved.
I really enjoyed this analysis. Especially drawing the comparisons between the different dream sequences. This dream session signified strongly Na-Kyum’s desire to be loved and held by Shengho , especially with the dream SH saying “I long for your my boy.” I’m fairly positive that NK is not just looking for SH for sex and physical body but rather the heart and passion as well. Also just look at the positioning of the characters during the dream love making session (and it is love making not just sex here), yes it is from behind but look at the amount of body connection. Also you are more likely to call out the name of a lover multiple times as the dream SH does. This for me signifies that NK also hopes that SH actually does love him. Even if he is saying “it can’t be” in the waking life (for now).
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